1484. Phcenicophaus pyrrhocephalus

(1484) Phoenicophaus pyrrhocephalus (Pennant).
THE RED-faced Malkoha.
Phoenicophaus pyrrhocephalus, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. iv. p. 182.
The Red-faced Malkoha is confined to Ceylon and to the South of Travancore, where it was obtained by Stewart together with its nests.
In Ceylon Wait says (‘Birds of Ceylon,’ 2nd ed. p. 217) :—“It may be met with in thick forest and heavy jungle over most of the medium and wet zones. It ascends the southern hill ranges as high as Hapatale, It is a shy bird not uncommon in the wilder stretches of forest hut is seldom seen near cultivation. The breeding season appears to be about May.”
I have five clutches of this Cuckoo’s eggs, containing two or three eggs each. These were taken by Jenkins in January and May and by Stewart in April and May.
The nests are said to be quite typical of the Malkohas. Jenkins describes them as “shallow saucers of grass, roots and twigs very carelessly put together and placed in high bushes in forest with thick undergrowth,” One pair of eggs sent by Jenkins are covered with a curious brown stain, thought by Jenkins to be caused by the fresh green leaves which form the lining of the nest, otherwise all the eggs are quite normal.
Twelve eggs average 35.8 x 27.0 mm. : maxima 36.9 x 27.3 and 34.8 x 28.7 mm. ; minima 32.5 x 28.3 and 33.9 x 25.3 mm.
In one of his letters Jenkins tells me that he found his nests when the birds floundered out of thick bushes as he was pushing his way through dense undergrowth. The birds soon returned to the nests and he shot one, which he sent me.

The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 3. 1934.
Title in Book: 
1484. Phcenicophaus pyrrhocephalus
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Red Faced Malkoha
Red-faced Malkoha
Phaenicophaeus pyrrhocephalus
Vol. 3

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